By J. Heffner | @pinaplwtchs
A casual review of a neo-vintage powerhouse, one that checks nearly every box
My journey as a collector started like most - years flipping Seikos and Casios, always wanting something more. When vintage first caught my eye, I was able to get a few nice *entry* level pieces for a bargain that I ultimately traded up for a Tudor 74033.
At the time, that Tudor was the perfect watch in my eyes - why would I ever need something more?
Well, one thing leads to another, and as a collector, it isn’t uncommon to find that your ‘forever’ watch has become just a memory. Yes, I sold that Tudor, something I regret, but remain thankful for.
In my musings as a semi-watch blogger, I’ve found that I never really gave that (these) Tudor(s) credit. My photographs of the old 74033 weren’t the best and were quickly overshadowed by watches with a crown that came soon after.
Today, though, the neo-vintage Tudor Oyster is finally getting its time in the spotlight. I hope you enjoy this review of the 74034, at a glance.
Fluted crown, Oyster case, jubilee bracelet - sounds familiar, right? But 34mm…something's off.
Although there are some ties to the Rolex brand, this is in fact a Tudor, and a proud one at that.
Of course, we get to review this gem thanks to Huntington Watch Co
Undoubtedly, this piece has striking similarities to its Rolex Datejust counterpart. In the eyes of some, it borders ‘homage’ territory. My perspective, however, is that Tudor is allowed to pull some Rolex DNA into its designs because of the obvious relationship that exists between the brands.
And yet, we’ve already mentioned Rolex in a Tudor article. I believe that part of Tudor’s beauty is due to their ethos of providing a Rolex-quality product at consumer prices. However, I don’t admire collectors/dealers alike who appreciate Tudor for this fact alone. The truth is, these watches are affixed with a shield, and not a crown; they’re different brands. Sure, it may look like a Rolex, and even features a Rolex case, but I challenge the average enthusiast to appreciate Tudor on a deeper level - for their unique heritage and identity.
Tudor’s Oyster line is one that has deep ties to exploration and tales of reliability. When wearing a watch such as this 74034, you feel that history is a part of Tudor’s genetics. Honestly, I would describe the on-wrist experience of this watch as different from that of a Datejust. It’s less refined, white collar, and more honest.
It’s size, at 34mm, is both a fun play on the fluted Oyster and a refreshing take on a pretentious design. I feel the smaller case size makes for a more fun wear. It’s a bit old school but still pairs well with virtually anything.
At the beginning of this article, I mentioned how this Tudor checks virtually every box for a collector. What do I mean?
- Construction - unmatched reliability
- Movement - respectable, modified, easy to service ETA
- Case - timeless Rolex Oyster
- Bracelet - classic jubilee
- Design - neutral colors, strap monster, looks good in all occasions
- Price - well under 2k
It’s hard to do much better for the money. These watches are equally as respectable in the watch world as they are timeless. A Tudor Oyster will always be in style, yet under the hood, it’s as easy to maintain as a Hamilton. It’s the watch that keeps giving with each wear, one with a collector’s experience that never gets old. It truly is a piece I highly recommend.
To sum things up, this type of review is aimed to appeal to the collector’s mindset, not the statistics of a given piece on paper. Ultimately, there’s so much that goes into a purchase, and this is simply one angle.